I was hoping for an effortless passage on the last leg of my RTW trip. Unfortunately, the eastern Pacific was riddled with tropical depressions heading directly for Hawaii. The winds aloft forecast for the Hawaii/California passage did not look favorable for the next three weeks.
"May" located in Hilo - Hurricane Number 1 would approach in a few days. The islanders were preparing for the worst.
Due to concerns of potential damage to the plane from hurricane Hector and Lane at Hilo, I relocated "May" to the island of Maui. Thanks to the Van's Airforce community (Ed, Scott, Eric, and Brad) I was able to secure a hanger at Kahului Airport (PHOG). I decided to fly home commercially, rest and prepare for the final leg of the trip. When I return to Hawaii around August 21, I will complete work on the aircraft, fly back to Hilo, and wait for the right moment to fly the 2000+nm to California.
August 21 - I learned that Hurricane Hector dumped nearly 52 inches (132 cm) of rain on Hilo. To provide a perspective, the distance from the ground to the propeller spinner is about 52 inches. Hilo was littered with debris from the recent flooding. It was the right decision to relocate the plane to Maui.
Moments after arrival at Hilo, BIg Island, Hawaii. Air Services Hawaii welcomes me with a lei and a Kona Longboard beer. Mahalo Tommy B!
RV-9A ready to fly non-stop to California. Pilot not so confident.
I flew with "Blue Hawaiian" helicopters on a volcano tour over the Big Island. It felt great to relax and let someone else be the captain.
Banyan Drive, known as the "Hilo Walk of Fame", is lined with trees planted by celebrities and adventurers, including pilot Amelia Earhart.
Historic photos of aviation in Hawaii.
Sunday afternoon entertainment in Hilo.
Lava destroyed homes in the Vacationland, Hawaii area. I heard from local sources that none of these homes were insured and FEMA provided no post disaster assistance. Many people are still living out of their cars, months after their homes were destroyed.
Dramatic Hilo coastline.
Crossing the windy strait between the Big Island and Maui. I repositioned "May" to a hanger in Maui due to hurricane Lane and Hector approaching Hilo.
A summary of the 2018 Hawaii hurricane season